Panaji, Jan 12: The political hand in Goa’s drug mafia nexus has resurfaced. Only, this time, the Congress has alleged that two BJP ministers, including a former state party president, were involved in the drug trade in north Goa.
Sudip Tamhankar, a Congress spokesperson, has claimed that former state BJP head Laxmikant Parsenkar and Art and Culture Minister Dayanand Mandrekar are involved in the drug trade. A police complaint has also been filed.
“In 2010, a complaint had been submitted to the home minister and the speaker. The complaint had said that Mandrekar and Parsenkar were linked to drug trade, but no action was taken,” Tamhankar said, after submitting the complaint to the police.
The earlier complaint had been filed by one Madhukar Khanolkar in 2010. No serious action had followed.
Parsenkar is a legislator from Mandrem and Mandrekar is also one from Siolim. Both areas have some of the state’s most spectacular beaches like Anjuna, Chapora,
Morjim, Arambol and Mandrem.
The beaches are known for their nightlife and easy availability of drugs.
Both ministers have denied the charges. Even the BJP has publicly defended Mandrekar and Parsenkar, saying they were never involved in any illegal activity.
“These are ridiculous charges, made by a desperate and bankrupt political party,” BJP spokesperson and Goa Law Commission chairman Narendra Savoikar said.
Even Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has jumped to the rescue of his colleagues, castigating Tamhankar for fibbing.
“I can vouch for both of them. These complaints are so frivolous I don’t even want to comment on them,” Parrikar said.
Incidentally, when the Congress was in power from 2007 to early 2012, then home minister Ravi Naik and his son Roy had been openly linked to the drug trade by the mother of slain British teenager Scarlett Keeling. The teenager had been sexually assaulted and left to die at the Anjuna beach after a cocktail of drugs was pumped into her in February 2008.
Roy is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) following the statement of a Spanish model, who was a former girlfriend of an Israeli drug dealer. The model, in her statement to the CBI, said that Roy was linked to the drug trade, a charge he vehemently denies.
The complaints against the BJP leaders have now brought the issue of the police-politician-drug mafia nexus full circle.
On Wednesday, Khanolkar filed a complaint with the police, claiming that Tamhankar had forged his signature before submitting the drug nexus complaint.
Tamhankar has however accused Khanolkar of playing politics and derailing the main issue, which was bringing to book politicians involved in the drug nexus – with the policemen and the drug mafia.
(Mayabhushan Nagvenkar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)